Despite embarking on this particular DVD marathon for relaxation purposes I have actually been well and truly inspired. For those of you who aren't already fans the show, it really does take you through the highs and lows of the human condition and has moments of such kindness and dedication that it makes you want to weep (or actually makes you weep...every episode...ahem...). The series is set in the late 1950s in the East end of London and the midwives battle ever imaginable indignity of poverty in the women they care for as well as help to bring about innumerable triumphs in individual lives.
What I found particularly inspiring though is how the characters all give so much of themselves to what they see as a vocation to serve others. As I advance on in years I am becoming more and more convinced that one of the key ingredients for a happy and fulfilled life is that sense of purpose and that the truest joy is to be found in looking to the needs of other people. Easier said than done, right? I know. But seeing this sense of vocation and hard going service at a time and in a place that could so easily be written off as hopeless is the kind of New Years boost I actually really needed.
So much so that not only have I ordered the original books on which the series was based but also a big bumper 'my life story' diary for myself. This diary is so huge that it can record 100 years of your life. I have to say it is pretty odd to hold in your hands something that you might be filling in until you die but nonetheless this seems like a great year to start documenting some of the adventures that are coming my way. This year, after all, is my ordination year. In six months time I will be officially starting out on my own journey blundering in where I am attempting to serve, probably getting quite a lot wrong, hopeful helping a little bit as I go.
I'm in full steam ahead mode now. So aware of all the things I need to learn and preparations I need to make before I arrive at my first parish in June. But I'm hoping my massive (!) diary will help me out and that each season as I record what has happened in those months that have gone by I will be inspired to keep going and do a bit more. If nothing else I am going to feel a bit embarrassed to write 'Watched another series of Housewives of Beverly Hills', not much going on at work'. But here's a little secret. My big hope for ordained life? That it will be long, full of adventure and full of love.
I think I'll keep that box set, just in case I need a little extra inspiration along the way....