We have this incredible cat. . . I know, I know, everyone probably thinks their cat is the best. We've had many cats, and they have all been special in their own way. However, Iggy—short for Ignatius Neptunia (she loves water) de Edinboro (where we live)—is the most intelligent, loving, considerate, expressive cat we've ever had.

If you can visualize this. . . we take her to our little summer hideaway for long weekends. She is not fond of the car but tolerates it. During our two-hour-plus trip, she will patiently sit on my husband's lap and look out the window. While it might be hard to imagine her never once trying to escape or hide; she does have one flaw. 

Like a small child, she will emit the tiniest whisper of a meow every few minutes as if to ask, "are we there yet?" This usually intensifies as we near the end as if to let us know she's had enough, yet she will continue to sit patiently and wait.

Iggy Tim in car 9 19 sm

Once we have arrived, harness and leash on securely, she will happily explore the yard for a moment or two, and then lead my husband right to the house to be let inside. (The only thing she hasn't figured out yet is that the door at the hideaway opens the opposite way to the one at home.)

The interesting thing about "are we there yet?" is that it can apply to so many situations—not just the cat riding in the car.

I retold to my son just this past week how I tried, desperately, tirelessly, to get pregnant. Those five years seemed hopeless and frustrating. "Are we there yet?"

Quite a few times I would make the journey to the doctor with hope upon hope, only to have my dreams dashed. Then at last, just when I had given up, just when I told my boss my random illness couldn't possibly be a pregnancy, we ended up with a new house/new baby. I so feared that I wouldn't go to term (what if the doctor had made a mistake) that I often slept with my hand on my enlarged belly.

I remember those long last weeks of pregnancy when the anticipation of the sometimes uncomfortable and maybe even a little scary journey was about to climax into that long-expected bundle of joy. "Are we there yet?"

When I went through chemo for breast cancer, I sat in a chair for eight long months feeling twenty years older and a whole lot weaker. Walking up and back down the driveway for my daily exercise exhausted me. I'd have to crawl upstairs to go to bed. "Are we there yet?"

This anticipation can also transfer to those times when we sit at the bedside, as I did with my father, watching him travail and not knowing what was worse, seeing him in unquenchable pain, or knowing his time on Earth was coming to an end. The wondering, "are we there yet?" continued until his last breath and through the unwinding process of the funeral and the emptiness of him no longer being there.

Unlike Iggy, I am not always so patient when I am waiting to accomplish my next big thing. . . becoming an adult, completing an education, rearing children through their school years (and beyond). "Are we there yet?"

What stages of life or attainment are you working through right now? Where are you in the process? Is there even any way to know? "Are you there yet?" Are you patient like Iggy? Or antsy like me?

I find it amazing when I look back at my accomplishments—something we should all do more often—that whether life stages or goals I worked hard to complete, no matter how tedious or frustrating or prolonged. . . In retrospect, it sometimes feels like that anguish was all so futile. Did it make the journey any easier? (No.) How much worry, fretting, and tears could I have avoided if only I had just sat back and, like Iggy, waited the ride through.

"Are we there yet?"