Are you a happiness hoarder?

If you are a caregiver, do you find it hard asking for help when it comes to your home?

If that's a problem for you, this story may help make it easier to ask for help if you need it. Incidentally, we all need help in areas in which we aren't competent. We get accountants to help with our bookkeeping, lawyers to help with legal issues and we're willing to get help with electricity and plumbing problems; but for some reason when it comes to our homes, we caregivers have a crazy notion we should be able to take care of everything ourselves.

The whole self-help movement implies you can do everything yourself. Lord knows you've tried, but how's that working for you? Female caregivers usually are in service-rendering businesses; teachers, doctors, nurses, and mothers (even though being a mom isn't considered a business, it really is). As a life coach, today, I worked with a lovely woman from Pennsylvania who has been a registered nurse for 30 years. She explained how much she adores her calling because she loves to help people.

When I asked her to explain more about the feeling of helping others, she said, “When I help a patient, I feel happy knowing because of me, that person is happier.

I don't feel arrogant, just important in being part of another's well-being and happiness.”

She went on to tell me she is respected by the doctors at the hospital in which she works and she's eager to go to work every day. Because her home was in critical condition she asked a doctor friend if he thought she had Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The doctor asked her these questions: "Do you get to work on time?" (Yes.) "Have you ever missed going to work?" (No.) "Do you pay your bills on time?" (Yes.) With these an-swers, her friend said, "No you don't have ADD. This woman was relieved (as if having Attention Deficit Dis-order was some fatal disease).

After reading a lot of the material I've written about ADD, she decided to get another professional opinion.

This next doctor gave her a test. She passed having ADD with flying colors but was, at the same time, devastated to think something was wrong with her brain.

It was important for me to talk her into the joy of having ADD because it's a wonderful thing to have as long as you understand how to live with it.

When I suggested she get help with getting her home organized, she said, "Oh I'd be too embarrassed to let someone in to do that."

When I explained I wasn't going to leave her alone until she agreed to bring in someone, she realized I was serious and she came up with a person's name who actually was her best friend, had been in her home and already knew of her dirty little se-cret.

Once she'd ag-reed to get help from this person, I said something to her she'd never thought about before and maybe you haven't either:

"Do you realize you'll be giving your friend an opportunity to feel happy knowing because of her, you are happier?

“She won't feel arrogant, just important for being part of your well-being and happiness. And just think, if you don't ask for help, you'll be a happiness hoarder!"

We don't think that we're happiness hoarders when we don't ask others for help, but really we are. By reflecting her words about how she feels helping others to apply to someone's feelings for helping her, she got excited to call her friend. Don’t be a happiness hoarder. Ask for help.

For more from Pam Young go to You’ll find many musings, videos of Pam in the kitchen preparing delicious meals, videos on how to get organized, lose weight and get your finances in order, all from a reformed SLOB’s point of view.