Penny Rose was named for a character I created in 2003. Penny was based off the song Penny & Me and the idea of Penny Days was also born. A “Penny Day” is a day that makes you feel the same way the song Penny & Me always makes me feel – magical. It makes me stop and remember to appreciate the beauty in life. When Penny & Me is playing, I automatically feel that way. When inheriting this nickname, Penny was given super powers that include, but are not limited to, coming up with ways to make real life magical. You can read her Things I Love Thursday lists right here.
When I was younger everything seemed magical – as I’m sure it does for many children. Magic could make five dollars feel like a fortune, turn a stick into a sword and a box into a castle, and send out mysterious GPS signals so that Santa, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy could all find your exact location. But as I’ve gotten older that magic has become depleted. Maybe its part of growing up – you know you are an adult when sticks are just sticks and five dollars hardly buys lunch let alone cover your car payment and rent.
So where do you find magic when it’s not peeking out at you from ever corner? When I asked myself this question I pulled out a sheet of paper and my colorful gel pens and made this list.
Where little Penny found her magic
Making potions with kitchen spices
Dress up and make believe
When I sat and looked at my list (covered in doodles by the end of this exercise) I realized none of the things I found magical as a child have really changed… the thing that changed was how I evolved that magic.
Now don’t worry, I’m not twenty something sitting in my kitchen with a bowl of water and bubbles from the sink sprinkling cinnamon and dried basil to cure my Barbie doll’s cancer while I’m fully clad in a pretend wedding dress and a playschool hard hat… remember that the magic grew with me so I am a little more socially acceptable and a lot less crazy than that mental picture I just shared with you.
My magical potions have evolved into fantastical sweet treats. I traded in my water and soap bubbles for flour and sugar (I still use the spices of course!) and even though my baked goods can’t cure cancer (yet…) there is nothing more magical than pouring wet and dry goods together, mixing in a lot of love and a few wishes, sticking it all in the oven and watching it transform into something that makes tummies grumble. If you are looking for a little grown up magic and some little kid fun – tie back your apron strings, break out some sprinkles, and mix up some of your favorite flavored cake batter and give someone who never smiles a cupcake; then watch the fireworks go off in their eyes.
As far as dress up and make believe, I no longer have a small toy box full of costumes – now I have an entire closet full them. It took years of musty vintage shops and hit or miss thrift store treasure hunts to create my style but it was well worth it. I guess I never realized magic lived in my closet because my clothing doesn’t feel like dress up anymore – it feels like me. But its not at all strange to see me out and about in a 1950’s inspired sailor outfit or a candy cane striped jumper and a red wig, so I suppose it looks like dress up to most onlookers. I’m sure many fashionistas would tell you that clothes can make or break you but I think clothes can convert the regular and mundane into the enchanting. Take a day and dress as a Russian spy and see if it doesn’t make you feel mysterious and seductive – my bets are that it will and those feelings will vibrate from you and bounce off of every person who crosses your path until you start wondering if it is really a regular Tuesday or if you woke up in a James Bond 007 film… if you’re not into the spy look try mimicking your favorite movie, song, or book – inspiration is everywhere!
When all else fails I have books. Even if I think the magic has run out in every other aspect of life; fiction has always been a staple for me because it opens doors to new lands and times where anything is possible and good always conquers evil – the way reality should be. Books are probably the most constant magic in my life. When I feel like my optimistic energy gauge is flashing red I pull out a book and read – it’s like an instant shot of happiness. I’m not sure what to tell people who don’t enjoy reading because I give them the same look as people who tell me they don’t like chocolate, the look that says “Has hell frozen over? Am I dreaming? Did you really just say that?” so if you are not a book lover you are on your own because I would probably run into a burning library to save my favorites. My go to magic guides include (but are not limited to) Francesca Lia Block’s Dangerous Angel series, Holly Black’s Tithe and White Cat Series, Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, and Classics such as Catcher in the Rye and East of Eden.
Now that I’ve listed the magic I find fun every day and the most constant, let me tell you about the most powerful magic you can find – the magnetism of friends. We meet people every day and granted some of them are blind to magic but every so often you will meet someone who can open your eyes to the magic that you hold inside of you. You meet this person and you create sparks of enchantment that flow between you and when you catch those sparks together you can dole them out as you please. With them you can even make five dollars feel like a fortune, turn a stick into a sword and a box into a castle, and send out mysterious GPS signals…
Magic is a renewable resource if you know where to look. So put on your rose colored glasses (the ones that the whole world keeps telling you to take off) and see the world for what it really is – a truly enchanting place!