The past couple of Super Bowls have been remarkable. Last year’s 25-point deficit didn’t stop the New England Patriots from winning and this year’s record setting offenses saw the Philadelphia Eagles win their first Super Bowl over those same Patriots. Great plays and spectacular feats of athleticism are what draw so many people to sports. But no where is there more pressure and stress than being an NFL kicker. I can still remember Super Bowl XXV, played in 1990. I watched in shock as Scott Norwood’s Field Goal attempt sailed ‘Wide-Right’ and his Buffalo Bills were defeated by the New York Giants 20-19. I can’t even begin to imagine the pressure kickers are under – such a mental state of mind.
There are a lot of other areas in life that are pressure packed and stress filled too. Maybe it’s a work deadline, or a paper that needs to be written for a class. Maybe it’s the stress of paying the bills each month on a limited income. A sick parent or child can add additional stress. While some people thrive under pressure, others cower and fade away under the weight of it.
I’ve faced many pressures and stress filled moments in my life, but none affects me more than Valentine’s Day! Yes – Valentine’s Day! This is the one day of the year where we as men are supposed to be the most romantic, loving, kind, thoughtful, talkative, poetic, sensual, and best gift giver of all time. The advertisements are all over the TV, radio and social media reminding me of what I should be planning for. And it’s hard to get a good read on my wife. If Kristen says ‘Don’t get me anything’ – it really means you better get me something. If she says ‘It’s no big deal’ – it’s a big deal. If she says ‘don’t get me flowers’, I've learned she doesn't want flowers. And if I do get her gifts, flowers or take her to dinner – it’s only because I was 'supposed to'. I can’t win at romance. I feel like I’m always ‘Wide-Right’ on the kick. I don’t know how any guy can live up to these expectations, but I’ll keep trying because she’s worth it.
I’ve learned that I may not be able to win that one pressure filled day, but I can win the small victories by doing romantic and thoughtful things for my wife throughout the year. Don’t just wait for Valentine’s Day to tell your spouse what they mean to you – tell them as often as possible. Date your spouse regularly – even weekly if possible. Buy flowers for her for no reason at all – and not just to say you’re sorry. Text your spouse romantic thoughts throughout the day and week. Love and romance between a man and woman is so important God had an entire book of the bible (Song of Solomon) written about. If you’ve never read it, try reading it together this Valentine’s Day – it may even make you blush.
Ps. Chocolate is a good idea any day of the year….