In the universe I inhabit before I go to sleep every night, I am already in 2014. To be exact, Jan 18, 2014, as of last night.
That's because I am a Candy Crush cheat.
For those who've been living under a rock, Candy Crush Saga is a massively popular online game. I started playing it on my iPad in May and there has been no turning back.
In the game, you are given five "lives" to match-and-smash candy. If you want to continue playing once you use up these lives, you must either pay or get lives from Facebook friends. Or, you wait half an hour for a life to regenerate.
Because I don't play it on Facebook and don't like spending on games, I found myself staring at the screen in frustration every time I got locked out.
Googling Candy Crush, I discovered that I could actually get "lives" without waiting. All I had to do was set the clock on my iPad ahead by two hours.
Sometimes, though, the clock goes haywire and I'd still be locked out.
I then discovered an easier option to get as many lives as I want - setting the clock ahead by days instead of hours.
And so I have progressed through the months to reach January 2014.
But I really should stop.
Ever since I discovered the time cheat option, what started as an enjoyable hobby has turned me into a grumpy, anti-social, sleep-deprived monster.
I rather play Candy Crush than talk to my husband. I rather play Candy Crush than go to sleep. Even when I'm sleepy, I feel compelled to play on because I am desperate to get to the next level. And because I've discovered the trick to getting unlimited lives, I can play on forever.
When I finally force myself to put my iPad down, my brain reels with images of coloured jelly beans.
Candy Crush is easy to understand, which explains why many fans are middleaged like me (kids abandoned it once they discovered their parents playing it; I once walked past a man who looked to be in his 70s and he was updating his family on his Candy Crush level.)
The game revolves around harmless images of sweets, doughnuts, lollipop hammers and slabs of chocolate. It's like entering Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree (yup, another giveaway of my age) and encountering Pop Cakes and Google Buns.
The sound effects mimic that of pachinko machines. Your game is accompanied by tinkly tunes, the whoosh of candy disappearing, the clatter of hard-boiled sweets and a macho voice intoning "divine" and "delicious" when you make a good move. It's almost hypnotic.
Who can resist all that?
It's not even that I'm good at it. After so many months playing it every night before I go to bed and during the day as well on weekends, I'm only at measly level 133 (there are currently 470 levels).