SHORT VERSION (This is the one I’d choose if I were you)

I realize that I haven’t posted anything on the Blog for a LONG TIME. I’ve got lots of excuses (I made most of them up!), but mainly I’ve been out of town a LOT since early January, and have had lots of SICK DAYS (the days weren’t sick… I was). But also I’ve been doing MUCH thinking about priorities, use of time, what matters most to me in my life, ETC. (LOTS of “ETC”). And I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll “Blog” less often, perhaps putting shorter notes and ideas on FB a little more often. I’m not stopping … just doing some “adjusting.” I’ve missed you more than you’ve missed MEE (in case you were wondering). I’ll be back… just less often. Thank you for kindness, friendship, positive comments, and lots of FUN! Love, MEE

LONG VERSION (Way too long… once I get started it’s hard to stop!… in case you hadn’t already noticed that about MEE)

I’m thinking that maybe 17 or 23 of you have noticed that it’s been a LONG, LONG TIME since I’ve posted anything on this Blog. I’ve thought about writing a Blog about Blogging. Or NOT Blogging. Posting on Facebook or not posting on Facebook. Trying to explain, maybe. But I’m not sure I can do that. I decided to try. I never did plan to be on FB. Ever. It felt like it would consume too much time, for one thing (but that was not my only concern). Then I found out from friends that someone had started a FB page in my name. It wasn’t malicious at all. There were copies of talks and quotes (hopefully none of THOSE were “malicious,” ha ha). But my friends told me that people were posting notes to me – and probably wondering why there were never any responses. So my friend Whit began to forward to me the comments, and I’d respond, and she’d post them. Can you imagine someone doing that? What a Saint! Eventually the Brethren began to encourage the use of social media to share good things, good messages, uplifting stuff. When I attended the devotional which Elder Bednar shared at the BYU Education Week (19 Aug 2014), I felt close to ashamed that I wasn’t really doing anything on social media. His message was compelling. With the help of Whit and others, I started doing my own posting on Facebook. And then the idea of a Blog “popped up.” It would be a way to share longer messages, including pictures. My incredibly talented and generously kind niece Wendy helped create … a new Blog was born. And I found it pretty fun, coming up with things to share. Yes, a lot of them were/are silly… I love to laugh! And I love to make people laugh (or at least try to give them a reason to do so). For a while I think I was posting almost every day. It took a lot of time thinking about what to share and preparing it (and finding illustrations for most of the posts). I was also doing more on Facebook. With both the Blog and FB, I felt not just a desire, but almost a need to respond to everyone and everything. I felt uncomfortable about not acknowledging notes – questions, reminders … ETC. (LOTS of “ETC”). And I sincerely wanted to share things which would lift spirits, make hearts happy, maybe make a difference in a day or even longer….

On the recent trip I took to the South Pacific with good friends, it became almost impossible to post anything due to the trouble I had getting (and staying) online on the ship. I had some health challenges during that month, and I did a LOT of pondering. I haven’t been home long enough to try to put the pondering into words. I’ve mostly been gone for 2 months plus, and you know what it’s like to come back to a “tsunami” of mail and things to do “right now!” Getting in touch with family (Note to family: I’m still alive! I plan to come and visit you before I turn 80! I hope you remember me!) It takes a lot of time to prepare for the weekly stake religion class that I teach (oh how I LOVE this calling!!). A talk in Sacrament meeting; that took time, especially when my computer wouldn’t boot up and my printer wasn’t working….).  Getting the message for this year’s “Time Out for Women” finished and sent in. Working on a message for the coming BYU Women’s Conference. Doing visiting teaching – and other visiting and service (which I’ve really not done very well at all recently… or ever??) Working on a home filled with “matter unorganized” (it’s more like living in a storage unit). Doing a massive DE-CLUTTER! Figuring out what to do with the “12-flood basement” … wondering how (or IF) to put it back together (knowing there will likely be more floods). LOTS of trips to D.I. …. I don’t want someone else to have to go through all my STUFF AND THINGS if I “shoot on over” before I get it done….

Through the years I’ve taught several lessons and given several talks about priorities – first things first, the use of time (which is a gift from God for which we are accountable) . . . What are the “first things” in my life? How do I keep them first? President Benson said this:  When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims of our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.  (Ensign, May 1988). I want to follow that counsel. There are so many things which I want to put “first” or “second” … right at the top. My relationship with my Heavenly Father, the Savior, and the Holy Ghost. My prayers really matter to me. Pondering, meditating… it makes such a difference for me to “think on purpose” (and WITH a purpose). Reading and studying, particularly from the scriptures, the Ensign, and many inspiring and motivating talks, lessons, and books. My relationship with my family matters to me so very much (but wow do I ever neglect them these days!!). Have you ever tried to make a list of priorities? I had to take extra pills! Where does a Blog come? And/or Facebook? I went through a long list of things I’d written down which really matter to me, and when I wondered (out loud) if FB or a Blog would come before this or this or this . . . both kept getting lower and lower on the list. And it’s NOT that I don’t enjoy posting things – finding something I think will be uplifting or interesting or thought-provoking . . . or funny/hilarious. (I know that so much of what I find hilarious may not be funny AT ALL to others – I laugh a LOT)! …. I LOVE sharing!!  (Did the pictures of MEE kissing a STINGRAY disappear??)….

CHOICES. Choices and consequences. Do I prepare a Blog or _______. Some Blogs take as much time to prepare and post as a Temple session! (I’m SLOW). I’m doing more names for family these days, and I’ve found that I’m more anxious to go – the NEED to go is greater, possibly because it’s not just for me . . . some of these kindred of mine have been waiting several hundred years! I LOVE doing work for them! And I love learning and/or noticing something “new” each time I go. Do I prepare a Blog or write a letter to my missionaries (I have a little “flock” of about 15 whom I write a note to each week). OK, I won’t go on and ON – but I hope I’ve explained what’s been happening since early January. I don’t need comments (and by the way, I did NOT start “doing” FB or a Blog to engage in some kind of competition – I think many kinds of competition are toxic (at least to me). I just wanted to share. I still do. Just not as often. And that’s the end of the LONG version (for the 3 of you who slogged through the whole thing).  I know St. Patrick’s Day came and went, but I want to add one of my favorite Irish blessings:  May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rain fall soft upon your fields, And until we meet again [until I post again], May God hold you in the palm of His hand.  Much love, MEE