Everyday Magic – Spells You Already Know

You don’t need to buy a thing.

Magic. It’s all around us–we just need to recognize it as such. Examples?

Spell for Happiness

You’ve already got everything you need.

You’ve got the ingredients for this. You even know what they are. The magic comes in pausing and recognizing the result. Make a list of what makes you happy–no matter how trivial. Opening a new jar of peanut butter where it’s all smooth and just waiting for you to stick your spoon in? Putting on jammies fresh from the dryer so they’re all warm and you feel loved and cared for? Here are some of the little pops of everyday magic in my life:

  1. Filling up my big cup with ice water. I love my Corkcicle cup, I love my stainless steel straw (save the oceans!) and I love the clink and clatter of ice and the cold sweet water that comes from the fridge. I love knowing that water is so good for me and that I’m taking care of myself. I take the first sip–Ah! Burst of happiness.
  2. Late night on the sofa. Everyone’s upstairs in bed asleep. The dogs and cats are sleeping around me, one by the fire, one on my lap, another up in the cat tree and one more in a kitty bed. It’s silent but for the slosh and hum of the dishwasher. It’s a magic hour of solitude. Sometimes I play games on my phone or do cross stitch. Maybe I’ll cozy up with a blanket and listen to a podcast or audiobook. No one’s asking for anything and I’m not doing anymore to-do items. It’s just my time and I’m fulfilled knowing my family is safe and comfy upstairs and I can do whatever I want.
  3. Lingering in bed. Some families have a strict get your ass out of that bed policy. Staying in bed is only for when you’re sick. Not me, though. Staying in bed and reading, scrolling, napping a bit then waking up, contemplating getting up and dismissing it. When you’re the mom it’s an absolute luxury to be able to take 2 hours to get up and out and every moment makes me happy.

You have a list too. Write down the ones that don’t depend on anyone else or any outside influences. The first snow of the year makes me giddy, but my magic isn’t strong enough to summon a snowstorm if I’m feeling a little blue.

Update: It just started snowing!

The important thing is to take a moment and think “Yes, I feel happy in this moment.” Because happiness is a feeling, not an achievement or a stage of life. You don’t have to BE happy; you can FEEL happy whenever you want. Just like magic.

Spell for Time Travel

When do you want to go?

Been working so hard
I’m punching my card
Eight hours, for what?
Oh, tell me what I got

I hear these four lines of Footloose and where am I? I’m in tenth grade at Sammamish High School in 1984. It’s first period and I’m in geology class staring at the back of Mike Z’s head. He had a mouth full of braces and liked heavy metal (ew), but from the back he was all glossy black hair and broad shoulders. My hair is frizzy and I’m definitely wearing Keds. I was fortunate not to have acne, but I look about 12 years old. Footloose was the hotness and I had the soundtrack (a cassette taped off an album I’d convinced my dad to buy me). My best friend and I regularly liked to rock out to Let’s Hear it For the Boy, and was anything as romantic as Anne Wilson and Mike Reno’s Almost Paradise? I was just starting to figure out that I was never going to be the wild preacher’s daughter in the red cowboy boots, but it might be okay to be the semi-cute best friend (who like me was a very late bloomer and would come into her own in Sex and the City)

I keep a bottle of Royal Copenhagen cologne in my desk drawer. It’s a magic elixir because when I open it and breathe it in I am transported back in time. When I lived with my dad and brother. Dad sang in nightclubs for a living and he’d put on his “work clothes” slacks and an open-neck shirt. He wore short boots that I suspect he’d been wearing since the 1970s when they were in style. He wore his watch with the face on his inner wrist so he could see the time while playing the guitar. It was important to look like you were having fun onstage and visibly checking the time might kill the vibe. My dad wore Royal Copenhagen for so many years that he’d become immune to the smell. So he’d spray it on so that he could smell it–creating a miasma of scent around him. Sometimes after he’d kissed us goodbye (on the tops of our heads as we sat in the giant beanbag watching Dukes of Hazzard or Love Boat) we’d wave the air and say Pew! Nothing brings my father into my immediate presence more than the smell of his cologne. I bring Dad back from the dead with a whiff of scent. That’s powerful magic.

Spell for Teleportation

Books will take you anywhere an author can imagine.

Open a book and BOOM, you’re in Czarist Russia, trying to navigate the social intricacies of the aristocratic class. Another book will take you down the Mississippi with a runaway slave or solving a murder on an English moor. Take another from the shelf and lose yourself in the Seven Kingdoms, ancient Rome, Mars, the jungle, the desert, palaces and shantytowns and a little house on the prairie. What’s even cooler? When you’re there you can read minds. You know why people do what they do and all their secrets. You can inhabit the mind of a seagull or family of rabbits. Even a stuffed rabbit or a wooden boy. You can do anything in books: fight sharks underwater with James Bond, marry a French royal, plow fields, communicate with gorillas or aliens, captain a ship, cure a pandemic, escape from prison, commit murder, exact revenge, sacrifice for your country or save the world. If you can’t find the book that lets you teleport to a place you’re longing to explore? Write it. Create the spell to teleport people to a world YOU imagine.

Take time for everyday magic!


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