Laura R, your image about the ocean is cool, and I think we can get a bunch of mileage from it, so I'm going to re-post it here (hope that's ok) for anyone who didn't see it as a comment.
I feel like I've been treading water for a long time and I'd like to flip over on to my back and rest but I get scared that if I'm resting I won't be able to see the big waves and they will hit me and I'll go under so I have to keep treading water.
Ok, so I'm going to take some editorial license with your comment :) Seems to me that you've accidentally set yourself up for only two choices here: treading water or floating on your back without being able to see a big wave coming.
We're in familiar territory for me here, because I've spent lots and lots of time in and around oceans (in, being the preferred option!). One of the first things I was taught about oceans is that you should never turn your back on them.
This doesn't mean we need to be terrified about oceans all the time. Not at all. It means that we ought to be aware. Oceans are dynamic, moving entities, and because of that they are constantly changing. Even the most placid ocean can produce a sudden rougue wave- seemingly out of nowhere.
It's only in the movies (or photoshop) that you see someone floating on their back in the ocean, oblivious, without a care in the world- they look so peaceful, like they're sleeping. Oh, and by the way, can't tell you how many times I've tried to float like that- I'm so muscular that much of me is always trying to sink, and mostly what happens is that I'm flapping like mad under the water to keep myself looking like I'm "effortlessly floating!" And for anyone that doubts that, check out underwater shots of sychronized swimming! OMG, on top of the water you see the swimmers' smiling, restful faces- and underwater you see what they are doing to stay elevated- working their tails off! Those gals are SO strong.
Anyway... Laura R, floating on our back in the ocean can be fun. It can even be restful (well, not for me, not with that sinking thing going on!). What we don't want is to be is oblivious (100% "rest"- the Photshop Look or the look proposed in that Corona beer comerical, right?! That commercial makes it look like everything's perfect, care-free and effortless... they don't mention that the actors laying there on their lawn chairs are battling off sand flies and crabs- not to mention the tide rising over their chiars!)- that's not safe, because you are right that if we are in that uncoscious state we won't see what the ocean is up to.
Also, maybe there are more than just the polarized options of treading water (the more vigilant option) and surrendering to the "float" (where one "goes unconscious" and gets to "rest")?
Maybe there are ways to be doing some work AND some resting at the same time. Maybe there are ways to pace yourself so that you don't become overwhelmed by the work and feel like you need and want to "flop over" and go unconscious.
One of the things you learn if you're going to swim (especially longer distances) in the ocean is that pacing is crucial. If you're in the middle of an ocean and have miles to go before completing a swim, you had better darn well have paced yourself well!
Laura R, I picked one aspect of your comment to write about. Feel free to highlight other aspects that you'd like us to especially notice and understand. I do get it, when I borrow the images you guys put out here I may depart from what you originally meant- and you get to make any ammendments you want to!
And here's our Bumper Sticker (which we've had before, but it can't be repeated too much!): Pacing is Crucial