Backwards Night Dreaming About Camp


I have been so busy lately. Working on ZOELAB is the only time of the day where I don’t feel “busy.” Or when I watch television, though television is still being busy, because we aren’t really present when we’re that passive. (I must confess I fell off the television wagon the other night, and instead of creating with ZOELAB, I watched four episodes in a row of The Sopranos. God, I forgot how good, and funny, that show was. Carmella is my empowerment heroine.) Anyway, what is busyness but preoccupation with things that don’t exist in the present. I really don’t like being this busy--when we’re busy, we start to accept stress as a baseline emotion. I want to remember the reason we live here, in Baja, in the desert next to the Pacific ocean, is so that we don’t have to be so busy. So that we can be more relaxed as parents, and as a family. So that we have more time to be creative and social. So that we can have time to just be. But, with parenting, work, and all our various projects, we are living in the busy world. 

Trying to find inspiration for sharing on ZOELAB, I started looking through some old writing and found a list I had made for my first blog, almost four years ago, of pluses and minuses of living outside, while we were camping on this very land that we now have a house on. I never published the list. Today I noticed there were 15 items on the minus list. On the plus list, only 14. I added the 15th today, so the two lists would be even. 

How beautifully simple life was when we camped here. Not that it was easy, but it was a special and peaceful time. I realize how lucky I was to have lived in nature while I was pregnant--ocean, mountains, desert, and also: dessert. 


Pluses vs. Minuses of Living Outside


1. Everything gets dirty

2. Sun damage

3. Windy

4. Cold at night

5. Have to dump our toilet

6. Keep food in storage away from animals

7. Lots of prickly, hurty things, scorpions and cholla

8. No cell connection

9. No internet connection

10. No place to hang a mirror

11. Things break a lot

12. Lack of security

13. Lack of comfort at night

14. Lack of entertainment at night

15. Have to take garbage to the dump 



1. Keeping track of how much water, gas, electricity using

2. More aware of the moon, the stars & the sun

3. Love rocks

4. Peaceful (except for noisy neighbors)

5. No rent

6. No bills

7. Can make as much noise as we want

8. No need for alarm clock

9. Can recycle gray water for plants

10. Hear ocean and birds

11. Perfect for Ping/guard dog/free dog

12. Appreciate the little comforts in life, with each new comfort comes a whole new possibility of life style

13. You can create new spaces freely

14. You never have to worry about parking

15. Being present comes naturally