It s been awhile since I last blogged, so I thought I would give a quick update while I m working on some more fully-formed blog posts. I ve also been microblogging on Instagram, at least until I lose interest in it, so follow me if you like. We moved back to Alaska at the beginning of the summer, and I was extremely happy about it, as living in Phoenix was completely killing my spirit. I can t even express how much I hated living there, and I can t think of a place in the U. S. That I would be more ill-suited for. So I m glad to be back in Alaska. It has been a really difficult summer, though.
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This is the third time we ve moved to a different state in the past three years, the second time with two kids. Moving with kids is completely awful, in so many ways. It s hard to believe but there was a time in my life when moving was exciting and enjoyable, pre-kids. There s another theme of my life right now: many things that were exciting and enjoyable before kids, are now tedious and exhausting.
The past three years of constant moves and instability in many areas of my life have really worn me down. It takes a long time to settle into a new home, physically and mentally. In Arizona it took us about a year to fully unpack, so right about the time we finally got rid of all of our moving boxes, we found out we were moving again. Right now, we re temporarily living in a sub-optimal apartment while getting ready to build a new house, so it will be a long time before we re really settled. It s even harder to become mentally settled in a new place.
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I never would have felt at home in Phoenix, no matter how long we lived there. Prior to that, I was just beginning to warm up to Colorado when we found out we had to move to Phoenix. I know I will feel at home here in our new town, but our daily life is a lot more difficult now for many reasons. Meanwhile, I have a lot of thoughts to process and no time or energy for it, and it s hard to lead my kids through all this change and help them deal with their feelings when I can t attend to my own. The hypothesis says that as a robot s appearance becomes more and more humanlike, our affinity for it increases, but only up to a certain point.
When a robot looks almost exactly like a human but not quite, our acceptance of it decreases dramatically and we experience revulsion. While trying to get my toddler to accept new foods, I realized that there is an uncanny valley effect in toddler feeding: as a new food increases in resemblance to a food she already likes, her acceptance of it increases, up to a certain point. If a new food looks too similar to a food she likes, she reacts with revulsion. For example, compare different forms of chicken to the toddler s favorite food, chicken nuggets (breaded and processed, and preferably shaped like dinosaurs).
The presence of ketchup exaggerates the uncanny valley, because being served with ketchup is an essential feature of chicken nuggets. The uncanny valley can be counteracted by cutting the chicken into a different shape or size, or serving it with a different sauce. But beware alfredo sauce that bears an uncanny resemblance to ranch dressing. After dedicating the past several months to trying to, I feel like I ve pretty much reached the end. I tried a lot of new things, went on a lot of friend-dates, and met some interesting people.
But I didn t become friends with any of them. I m not saying I m done trying now, but I ve exhausted every resource I could think of, and I m exhausted.