Writing stories to pass values from one generation to the next

A Shot to the Nose and a Dose of Perspective

A Shot to the Nose and a Dose of Perspective

A Shot to the Nose and a Dose of Perspective

The doctor agreed that her nose was most likely broken. Not bad enough to re-break and set, thank goodness, but good for a week’s worth of headaches. Broken enough.

Since the Little Fella made the move from homeschool to public school, he has had to arise for school quite a bit earlier. Mrs. Right has tried to ease his transition from sleep to shower each morning by coaxing him awake with her Scooby Doo voice. (The Little Fella often defaults to the garrulous Great Dane in everyday speech (“Ronna go row the rall, Raggy?”) One morning last week, she moved in close to give him a softer-than-alarm-clock wake-up call. Sleeping with his arms bent back over his head, the Little Fella lurched forward into consciousness, his elbow striking Mrs. Right on the bridge of the nose. Ouch!

Mrs. Right’s nose looked pretty crooked and swollen for a few days. Now, I have had some first aid training. I also spent 16 years as a high school coach, a role in which I was hit with a baseball on the bridge of the nose. I knew just what to do: get some ice on it! And keep ice on it!

Little by little, the swelling went down. Mrs. Right’s nose didn’t look quite so bent, but the headaches predicated the aforementioned doctor visit. And a conversation about a shot to the nose and a dose of perspective.


Throughout the week any movement near Mrs. Right’s nose caused her to flinch. She noticed a transferable principle. You can relate, can’t you?

  • Have you ever been done wrong by someone close to you? Maybe it caused you to flinch when someone else tried to get too close? Maybe it still does.
  • Have you ever been undermined by a co-worker? Perhaps you weren’t so quick to willingly collaborate after that. Perhaps you’re still not.
  • Has someone ever repeated something that you thought you told that person in confidence? I’m sure you were reluctant to share anything personal for a while after that. Maybe you still are.

A Shot of Perspective

When Mrs. Right shared this with me (and gave me permission to blog about it), I considered the help that this perspective may bring to many of us. What causes you to react more emotionally than you normally would? What causes you to overreact? Or to melt down or shut down?

Have you ever looked into the trigger for such a reaction? What pain caused you to flinch?

I’m no psychologist, but I have been hit in the nose by a baseball and done my best to avoid the pain that I felt. I did my best to never turn my back on a player with a baseball again. Often unknowingly, I have continually flinched as a result of other hurts, too.

All it took to bring it to light was a shot to the nose and a dose of perspective.

What about you? What past hurts cause you to flinch?

11If “A Shot to the Nose and a Dose of Perspective” caused you to ponder, I’d like to invite you to get a copy of my book Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life). In it, I delve into some of life’s biggest questions through the ups and downs, twists and turns of Mrs. Right’s and my faith journey together. It’s a book I felt like I had to write.


About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel, Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and the Coach Dave series. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

5 Replies

  1. Nice thoughts, Al. Thank you for sharing. I know well of what you speak, for I too was hit by a baseball—on the forehead while pitching in Little League. You don’t forget, and you do flinch on into the future.

    1. Thank you, Tom, for your comments. As a coach–even with the best of protection from pitching screens and batting cages–I have been hit in both temples and in the back of the head. I learned to make myself really small behind a pitching screen and to never throw batting practice without one. (But I still flinch when I throw the occasional BP!)

  2. Richard Atwood

    A “shot” to the nose doesn’t ring right. (Makes me think of novacaine.)
    A “hit” to the nose makes more sense to most people.
    Even jolt, bash, slam, crash, bump, fist, jab, smash is better.

    1. Considered some of those words Richard, but they sounded too intentional. Unintentional pain still hurts, though…whether by shot, hit, jolt, bash, slam, crash, bump, fist, jab, or smash.

  3. Turning your back would be a good way to protect your nose AND give you a different perspective…

What do you think?