As I celebrated my 78th New Year, it was a little more difficult to get out of bed on New Year's Day. And it wasn't because of a hangover. I was in the rack at 10:30 p.m., and as sober as a judge. The partying is left to the younger generations who don't know any better.

Once I found the floor, the struggle to my feet was a little more challenging than usual. The equilibrium was a little off that morning. Hmmm ... wonder what caused that? Ataxia?

Then came the excursion to the bathroom. An adventure, to say the least, as I careened from one doorway to another. And after that, the blinding lights above the bathroom mirror! Great Scott! The image in the mirror is carrying baggage under the eyes that would make Fred Allen envious.

For you youngsters who have lived less than 65 years on this planet, Fred Allen was a comedian who had his own radio show on Sunday night right after Jack Benny's show. He had huge bags under his eyes, which were the subject of a great deal of humor at his expense. Benny was wont to make fun of them at a merciless clip. This was in the late 1940s and the early 1950s.

With the ablutions done came the journey back to the bedroom to get dressed. Bounce, bounce, grab, grab. Watch out for those pesky doorways. They can move very quickly.

After making three attempts at putting on the shorts from an unsteady standing position, it occurred to me sitting might be better. It was. Once that nearly insurmountable task was accomplished, the rest was easy. But everything was done from the safety of a seated posture.

The rest of the day was very ordinary ... have breakfast; annoy a list of people with a few e-mails about politics, economics, global warming, Islam and the like. And that's just for grins.

As the saying goes: "Getting old ain't for sissies." I speak from experience. So, have fun in 2011. I'm going to do it in spite of myself.

Don Kennedy is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a degree in sociology. He has been a resident of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2002.

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