The other day, Patti and I were talking about some basic concepts of knowledge. Growing up, I heard from my folks that the thirst for knowledge should never end. It’s about learning something new every day. While I certainly am not anal enough to keep track of the things I learn when I learn them, I feel confident that the learning is occurring.

And some of that learning is purely accidental and/or transcendental. Sounds kinda lofty, huh?

Not really.

But when we were discussing this, it occurred to me that I believe I have learned about 50 percent of my total life’s knowledge from the time of birth to September 22, 2011 (diagnosis date).

I believe that with the changes we have gone through since that date, I am on the path to learn the remaining 50 percent.

Paying attention to the importance of faith, staying closer to friends and family, taking the time to make things happen now that I’ve always put off in the past is not really an epiphany. Certainly there have been plenty of books, movies and other artistic forms that have pointed out these items. Again, this isn’t new. I’ve read the books and I’ve seen the movies and we all know how they end.

You see, I think I am like many guys.  And I will generalize here, so keep that in perspective. Most guys, I think, keep their faith to themselves. They will show up for church and perhaps mumble through the songs. They will be deeply devoted, have strong faith, but they just don’t talk about these things. Again some do, some are more demonstrative in their religious convictions.

As for staying closer to friends and family, while I absolutely believe that is important, it seems that it is easy to slip these two very important audiences to the back burner when you are balancing work and family. Work too often occupies so much of our time, thought and presence, friends and family play second fiddle.

And, putting things off just leads to regret. I’m not Jack Nicholson or Morgan Freeman and I don’t really care whether I climb to the top of the Great Pyramid. I’m enjoying the learning every day, and I still am not yet ready to compile a bucket list.

But I do believe there is a tremendous amount of learning, assimilating, working into my personal fabric that I had not even experienced before the diagnosis. One thing I can say, I have reasons to be thankful for having pancreatic cancer. As odd as that may seem, my personal point of view of things like determining priorities and placing importance on items every day is something to celebrate. Because of this diagnosis, I have reconnected with friends, some of whom I was estranged from, and we have put the past behind us. I thank God for that exercise, and the opportunity to move forward in pleasant ways.

Yes, life is good, and in my mind I hear Satchmo sing “It’s a Wonderful World” every day.