What Does It Take for a Week to End?

We use the word “weekend” all the time, but we rarely think about its transformative power. Every seven days something is ending — and it brings with it the magic of a new beginning.

But that’s where the problem starts, isn’t it? When does the old week end and the new one begin? Is it Friday? Saturday? Sunday? When you launch a WordPress website, there’s a setting for you to choose between new weeks starting on either Sunday or Monday. In the US, many people would say Sunday. In Europe, it’s mostly Monday.

In Jewish culture, each week’s resting day is the Sabbath, Saturday. In Germany, church services are held on Sunday, which is also when shops are closed. Other geographies seem to never break business hours at all.

As a self-employed creative, my weekends often look rather similar to my weekdays. Lately, I’ve been so busy, I’ve mostly turned them into “days for admin tasks with slightly shorter to-do lists.” I might change the order of my daily routine a bit or play some video games, but that’s not enough to mark a real break from what happens Monday through Friday — a real weekend that can symbol a new beginning.

In the end, I don’t think it matters much which day we think comes first or which one we pick to deviate from our usual patterns. But the weekly ritual of deliberately soldering one week shut and pausing to form a conscious plan for the next? That feels rather important.

When our weekends merge quietly into the blur of repetitive weekdays, that’s when months seem to suddenly turn into years. “Where did the last half year go?” Well, you never paused! You rushed through it without looking at your map. But did you end up at the right destination?

To my defense, I do love “the magic of Monday.” That’s when I feel I get a fresh start. I might think about the coming week a bit on Sunday night, but Monday is when the next chapter truly begins. Monday always seems full of potential. How far will you go in the next five days? What surprises will you look back on by Friday? It’s not perfect, and I need to work on my recovery, but at least it allows me to acknowledge the door-like mechanic that lies somewhere between each week and the next.

Whether you throw your laptop into a corner and hit a big pause button for 48 hours or practice a quiet tea ritual on Sunday afternoon, ask yourself: What does it take for a week to end for me? What will help me feel satisfied about the seven days that have passed, and what must I do to feel properly prepared for the seven next ones coming?

Life is never short on second chances. Each year, 52 of them are printed right onto our calendars. In reality, we get thousands more, but it still won’t hurt to turn each weekend into whatever springboard it needs to be. Let’s make sure our endings enable the right beginnings.