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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

(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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
'Shifting Sands' is a voluminous work that brings to the fore Amjad Islam Amjad's life experiences from 1967 to 2007, covering a cornucopia of ghazals and geet spanning everything from his loves and friendships to his deep compassion for humanity, his concern for his beloved land and the dreams that he dreams.
In A Journey Through Shifting Sands Miriam Kelly a registered nurse takes us on her personal journey from a peaceful happy youth into disillusionment fear and stress.
I APPRECIATE THE JUXTA-position of the spring 2008 edition of Conscience, "Shifting Sands in the Abortion Debate?" and Nancy Belden's reassurance that we are standing "On Solid Ground."
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By turns serious and hilarious, the story captures the shifting sands of 1967, with the Vietnam War, flower power, and the growing generation gap.
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IF you like your theatre to be inventive and visually powerful then Shifting Sands might just be the company for you.
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Written by Layne West (former Mayor of Oregon, Illinois), The Shifting Sands: An Epic Tale of Ancient Erotic Intrigue, Romance and Adventure is an erotically charged fantasy novel about a past world that could have been, when monsters ravaged humanity.
If the shifting sands of justification demonstrated one thing it was that none of the reasons proffered bore any resemblance to the actual reasons for the invasion of Iraq.
Until that is done we are spinning our wheels, vainly attempting to create a strong foundation in the shifting sands of corruption, meanwhile sacrificing the lives of American soldiers and civilian contractors.
Speaker will be Lois Weiss, Journalist and BetweenTheBricks commentator on the topic, "The Shifting Sands of Real Estate: Development from Dubai and New Orleans to New York." Members: sign up by calling 212-551-1013 to reserve.
Saint Simonian planners proposed extensive commercial canals in the Basin area and permanent channels through the shifting sands of its marshy bay.