"Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right." -- Oprah Winfrey

If you were around on Jan. 1, 2013, we share one thing in common: we're both a year older. Happy New Year!

Funny how one day makes a big difference. Suddenly, 2013 seems "old." Ask the guy who bought a new car last year.

Purchaser: "Bought a brand new (whatever)."

Spoilsport: "Oh, last year's model. Does it still have that new car smell? If you keep your windows rolled up, the smell should linger a few months longer!"

If you're like me, I didn't feel any different when I went to bed on Dec. 31 than I did when I woke up the next morning.

As a kid, I recall mom scurrying about the house weeks before new year straightening up the living room, organizing the kitchen, scrubbing the floor, etc. ... I would've helped, but she was content just to have my brothers and me out of the house while she toiled.

My wife and I usually leave the "neatening" until the last couple days.

There's just one problem after it's over: "Where did I stash all those loose papers and stuff when I cleared the front room?"

It's unfortunate that everyday isn't like New Year's Day. Everyone seems to make a special effort to be friendly, polite and ... well, downright good on the first day of the year. If that's the case and I were President, I'd designate everyday "New Year's Day!"

The youngest of three boys, I couldn't wait to grow up, and no one had to remind me of that day.

When I was in the U.S. Army stationed overseas, I marked my calendar daily until I returned home and was discharged from the service.

As a public servant, I always had a desk calendar in front of me at work.

Now that I'm retired, I missing a goodly number of my appointments. Then again, you might say I'm entitled to a few shortcomings.

Being able to look forward to the new year is exciting even at my age. I'm aware I can no longer do things I did a year ago, but that's to be expected.

People are more tolerant when I doze off during a boring speech.

Had that happened in my younger days, I would've been accused of being inattentive.

I'm at the stage where I have few needs.

I'm blessed with a beautiful family, my wife and I live comfortably with no pressing financial worries, we are surrounded by wonderful friends, and we are both in relatively good health, especially considering our ages.

Sounds silly, but I have no interest in winning the lottery -- wouldn't know what to do with all the money anyway.

We worked hard for what we have and don't need any more than that.

When we were kids, we were lucky to get more than two presents -- one being socks or underwear. It seems nowadays most parents have to shower their children with gifts to keep them happy.

And I wonder how many of those wind up in the closet after the novelty has worn off.

There's one thing my wife and I cherish.

It's seeing how much our grandson has grown in 12 months. We marvel at the way he is coping with his diabetes, and only hope we have that same grit when we are confronted with our own health problems, or any problem for that matter.

It's no wonder the beginning of every year is depicted by a New Year's child leading the parade.

Eizo Kobayashi is a Concord resident and a member of the Concord Senior Citizens Club. Contact him at columns@bayareanewsgroup.com.