I was just getting myself a coffee in the kitchen at work. One of my coworkers asked me how GH was doing. I said that he'd been better, that he was having a lot of trouble with his liver right now. She shook her head, said she was sorry to hear that, and then said something that people say to me relatively often: "I don't know how you do it."
I never quite know what to say in response to that. What I said today was, "Frankly, I don't know how we do it, either." Sometimes I say that we do it because we don't have a choice. Sometimes I just say, "It's tough." Sometimes I say, "You could do it too, if you had to, and I hope you never do."
I think people mean it as a compliment, but I admit that I find it a strange thing to say. I'm not entirely clear on what "it" is, for starters. What I always assume people mean is that they don't know how we keep on fighting, keep on coming to work, keep on living our life as normally as possible, in the face of some awful circumstances. If that is indeed what people mean, then my honest answer to their question is that for me, there's no other way to do it.
To give that answer would entail a discussion I'm not usually in the mood to have, though, so I try to keep it simple, but honest. "It's not easy" pretty much covers those bases.