Well, I have been relieved of my job and career. In 11 years of odd jobs and 26 years of cpu (computer) design, I survived many rounds of layoffs. In the last 2 positions, however, I was laid off after less than 3 years each.
There are certain disadvantages to being someone like me in a competitive high-tech environment. The longer one works, the more one is expected to rise up into quasi-administrative, 'leadership' roles. These roles are, quite frankly, awful for one's health. I did not want to take them on. I do not dissemble very well, and so became less and less able to pass, as they say. My self presentation became pretty terrible as I lost respect for the current theory, to put it generously, of corporate structure and policy.
In short, my main objective for the past 10 or so years has been to remain employed while avoiding rising too high in the organization, and the game has finally played itself out. I am relieved, though grateful for the interesting technical work and good salary given to me during this ride. I worked hard to produce the technical results needed by the companies and enjoyed many of the people in them. The exchange has been fair throughout, and all benefited from it.
It has now taken me 3 months to figure out that (1) I don't have a job, and (2) I now have the opporutnity to make whatever I want out of the rest of my life. Wow.
I am still pretty much speechless about this.