Opinion By Pattyl Aposhian Kasparian

There are particular windows of opportunity in one’s life that are short lived, notably the years after grad school and before family commitment. It’s the period of time when you are making good money but are not responsible for a hefty mortgage and school tuition. It’s the tail end of the AYF years and the start of the ANC- PN—the meetings turned parties turned weekend getaways. It’s the years you are actually allowed to meet any and all sorts of people to learn more about yourself, your likes and dislikes and test the limits of socially acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

Those years disappear—be it a lack of energy, time or resources. You spend more time thinking about your family, health and future. You review, rewrite and recategorize your bucket list— the 100 things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”. You realize that a trip to Scandinavia or learning to do the Yoga handstand thingy isn’t a priority. It’s wishful thinking—but there’s so much more to do.

Of course, our everyday tasks are driven by our priorities. Be a knowledgeable, responsible and hip mom sprinkled with a dash of discipline. Be a caring and encouraging wife. Be a capable and attentive daughter. Be a dependable and not-so-annoying sister. And of course—after you are done being all of the above, be a good Armenian. We can’t write this on our bucket list because it’s not something we can ever check off. We won’t solve all the shifting problems crushing all Armenians with one meeting or one committee. But, let me tell you—if “IT” is going to start somewhere, it will start on the corner of Broadway and Belmont in the oh-so-well-known city of Glendale.

Tuesday night, I circled the ACF office building at least five times. I called my girlfriend in hopes that she would tell me she’s walking out of her Board of Regents meeting and she will save her parking spot for me. No such luck. At 9:15 p.m. , all three floors of the office building were bursting with energy. Frustrated, I triple blocked someone and went upstairs. The elevator doors opened to a lobby filled with 30 plus unfamiliar faces. I received a few friendly smiles and walked in. Our ACF Banquet meeting was moved from the comfortable conference room to a small office because the Syrian Armenian Relief group had taken over. I squeezed myself into the tiny office—already at maximum capacity and I started to complain. Why isn’t there any parking? What’s going on again? Who are all these new people?

Perhaps it’s just me—turning my small inconvenience into a big deal. But my small parking problem is a snapshot of the bigger picture. It’s a growing pain as we move forward. While some are snuggled in bed on a weeknight minutes away from falling asleep to Law and Order, ANCA-WR, AYF, Horizon, Syrian Armenian Relief Fund and ACF volunteers are strategizing, planning and coordinating to better our region and further our Cause.

It’s this realization that gives me and all the other volunteers’ energy to keep going. This year, the Armenian Cultural Foundation will celebrate its accomplishments and motivate the community yet again with an intimate gala banquet on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Montage Beverly Hills.

Weeks away from this highly anticipated evening, I identified this part of my life as one of the short-lived opportunities—similar to that of the carefree AYF and ANC PN days. We’ve swapped our lounge/bars for restaurants, $1 shots for red wine, munchies and junk food for cheese and prosciutto. The one constant is our unwavering dedication to the Armenian Cultural Foundation’s mission and vision. For more information about the annual ACF Banquet, please call (818) 243-9219.