Well, after nearly 18 years at the same company, I got three checks in my envelope today. Along with others, I got laid off this afternoon. The software business has taken a hit just like pretty much every other field recently, so my position has been eliminated, as well as several others. I left on good terms, and have already made it known that I'm available for contract work, since it's apparent they've decided to outsource my position on a seasonal basis. (I was the only person at the company who wrote user manuals and help files, and they will need new ones before they can release the next versions of their products, which are currently in the mill.) I have no desire to go back to the company full time.
Like Rennie, I'm looking forward to turning the page on a new chapter in life. I haven't enjoyed my job for quite a while, and life's too short to spend a major portion of it working with people you don't like. I'm going to start pursuing contract work initially, since I don't think there are a lot of viable permanent positions in my area right now. If I'm freelancing, I can work remotely for just about any company in the world, all from the relative comfort of home. It'll involve some lifestyle changes around here though, especially until I can get some work coming in.
If anybody you know is looking for some writing or editing, technical or otherwise, let me know.