Do you ever have one of those days that seems the same as every other day, and you just wonder, like that old song, "Is That All There Is?"

Now, I, of all people, would be the least likely person to ponder such thoughts, given that I waited eighteen months for a life-saving double-lung transplant and got one, and yes, made it through. Now, five months later, I sprint up the stairs and do things I couldn't do a dozen years ago. And yet, there are days I ask, "Is that all there is?"

A friend of mine suggested that maybe I am coming down from that "high" I felt after my surgery and things are back to normal. Hmmm... Normal, a setting on a washing machine, it has been said.

So, terms like "normal" or "same old, same old" or "day in, day out" had me worried a little.

There are days I ask, "Is that all there is?"I noticed this in a very roundabout way. I was reading morning prayers and when it came to the part where the high priests are using the exact measurements of certain incense, and how to grind them, and what corners of the altar they should proceed to, I asked myself, "Why am I reading this every day? What does it have to do with anything?" It's the "same old, same old." It doesn't seem to carry the importance and gravity of the seemingly more substantial wording in "Love your fellow Jew..." or "Modeh Ani" (where we thank G‑d for breathing another day of life into our souls). The other passages that detail rituals just seemed to remind me of loading the dishwasher twice a day, or checking my email, or eating. I mean, it's just another everyday thing.

And I thought this was just getting stale. Conversations with friends were more of the same. Everything actually seemed to have this "sameness." Where is the joy in living in that? I must be doing something wrong. Surely, there has to be more.

So I asked a Rabbi, online, "What is the importance of reading the passage of the measurements of the incense every morning?" He replied, "You eat every morning, don't you?"

Yup. I sure do. And all at once this "same old, same old" took on a whole new meaning which I am still wrapping my head around. Forget the obvious. Being grateful to be alive. Enjoying your children. Breathing another breath, pain free. I do not take any of it for granted. But while I have always been on a quest to broaden my horizons, to grow spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and so forth, I forgot, or never realized, how important consistency is.

And it's not just the comfort of consistency. Like your favorite slippers or coming home and feeling at home after a long day of running around. Nope, there was something even more important and exciting that I clued into.

I thought of my surgery. That delicate surgery that saved my life took a team of many people working in concert to replace my two diseased lungs. My goodness, how often did these doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, go over and over, detail by detail, every day, all there was and all they could learn about the human body with all its complexities? Every day, over and over and learning how to compensate, make allowances for, change course in mid-stream because of a complication or something unexpected. They had to know the ins and outs of every procedure involved like it was second nature, so that they could perform under more pressure than expected, or just to get the job done!

Familiarity breeds contempt? Not in my world. Not any longer.So, like the multiplication tables we memorized, just like the laundry we never seem to stop doing, just like the seemingly unimportant passages in our daily prayers from the siddur, they are our reminders that nothing, zero, nada, gornisht, is for nothing. It also hit me that our memories and/or our ability to remember is a curious thing. And if first there is thought, and then speech, and finally, action, we better exercise our memory and how we think. What better way than follow a routine that we were meant and commanded, by the way, to follow?

Torah has all the answers. Torah makes us question the edicts and principles. We're Jewish. So we say, "Why answer a question with a question?" and the response is, "Why not?"

I know, you've heard that one before. Nothing new. Same old, same old. But not so much. Not when you think about it.

On my part, I am starting to enjoy the uncovering of a new dimension of passages I have read countless times. I am beginning to get more excited that with the passage of time, I am becoming more comfortable in my skin simply because I have made it on this planet this long. And the more comfortable I become with myself, the more energy or room there is to learn more.

Familiarity breeds contempt? Not in my world. Not any longer. It nurtures all the places in my heart and in my soul to let me be free to find more places I can develop.

Kind of like the "Sunrise, Sunset" melody from Fiddler on the Roof – the repetitive notes in the song, and in so many Chassidic tunes, comfort you, bring joy, and if you listen closely, the sounds will transport you to another place or another time, or another place in time. You see, the possibilities are never-ending.

Where am I going with all this? I am not sure. I haven't reached the end of my thoughts on it, yet. But trust me, I am beginning to like this new take on an old routine. Life is precious, Torah is timeless and may we continue to love learning, over and over and over again.

As for "same old, same old," bring it on.