I am having a bit of trouble separating の and もの when they serve the purpose of turning a verb phrase into a noun.
The の noun seems to satisfy a few purposes... It seems to be like "one"... like when you say "the red one is mine" "赤いのは私のです" And it also seems to be work like "~ing" "It is hard to swim" "泳ぐのが難しい”
At least in the first example, I can give "one" meaning and explain it... The second one is kind of like the "to" in "to swim" isn't it?
I want to know if you can give の a meaning, or have some way to visualize it in order to distinguish it from もの?