shifting sands

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the shifting sands of (something)

The constantly changing circumstances or aspects of something that makes it particularly difficult to understand or contend with. Older adults often find themselves struggling to keep up with the ever-shifting sands of technology. Part of the problem is that we've convinced ourselves that personal happiness depends on the shifting sands of romantic love, which does real damage to our ability to live fulfilled and contented lives as independent people.
See also: of, sand, shift

shifting sands

You can talk about the shifting sands of a situation when it keeps changing, and this makes it difficult to deal with. It's a struggle to keep up with the shifting sands of fashion. The problem is that the whole economy has been built on the shifting sands of finance, not the rock of industry.
See also: sand, shift

(the) ˌshifting ˈsands (of something)

used to describe a situation that changes so often that it is difficult to understand or deal with it: the shifting sands of the digital age
See also: sand, shift
References in periodicals archive ?
Saint Simonian planners proposed extensive commercial canals in the Basin area and permanent channels through the shifting sands of its marshy bay.
You have to be able to live on shifting sands, [and] when a storm comes, you adapt.
Ellen Granger); (2) Incorporating Physics Into the Middle School Science Curriculum (David Graf); (3) Impacts of the GK-12 Experience on the University (Danielle Sherdan); (4) Shifting Sands and Butterfly Gardens: Growing a Scientifically Literate Society (Mabry Gaboardi); (5) Cooperative Group Learning in Inquiry-Based Science Activities (Katie McGhee); (6) The Learning Cycle of Classroom Management: A Design for Producing an Effective Teacher (Jocelyn Dudley); (7) Better Lessons Through Topic Research (Heaya Summy); (8) Lessons Learned From the Partnership of a GK-12 Fellow and a Third-Grade Teacher (Wendy J.
Massive erosion creates shifting sands that swallow up millions of acres of agriculture lands every year.
Yadi Sugandi's fine lensing captures Daya's mystical communion with the shifting sands in simple strokes.
Still, Shifting Sands of Time is a delightful recording overall, and the audio quality is excellent.
IN THE VAST POST-FORMALIST LAND-scape, a Robinsonade: Artists wandering the shifting sands of digital reality create their own oases in "Comfort: Reclaiming Place in a Virtual World" (Mar.
But the time is fast approaching when we may have to abandon all those beautiful homes, beach clubs and resort hotels, because they're built on rapidly shifting sands.
Truth is never based on the shifting sands of human consensus, but on the rock of the Word of God.
Therein may lie some insight into the shifting sands of organizational communication: being confident enough in your own instincts to keep communication somewhat spontaneous.
Jim Moffat, product marketing team leader for Lotus said that at one time to support Linux would have been "building a bridge on shifting sands," but now it has attracted enough support to represent a real challenge to other, more dominant operating systems.
The Origami Dinnerware collection is inspired by two aspects of Japanese rock gardens: shifting sands and natural stone colors.
In particular the opening chapters on the complex state of religious alignments in 1558, the ambiguity of the young queen's own beliefs and the mixed success of the 1559 legislation are admirable in describing the shifting sands upon which the foundations of the Elizabethan Church were laid and, miraculously, settled.
Obviously, no insurance company willingly would offer those kinds of rates for homes on stilts in shifting sands where neither God nor law meant for man to settle.