Thanks for those insight(s). I know my sister is looking to have me dive right back in so to speak, and even spotted a possible opening in my home town less than 10 minutes from my house. Right now, I'm feeling a strong need to "re-tool" and may take the time to do some of that...that is once the panic-despair cycling calms down a bit. Though getting my head into the search seems to calm that one pretty good.
My induced attention deficit was something I actually didn't feel much pain from, even though it kept me from being productive on anything requiring deep thought. I have been tested for ADHD and have traces. Things like getting phone answering duty, getting asked where something is, having my back to the main hallway, having hearing good enough to clearly make out conversations in the next room (and being banned from wearing headphones), and getting asked for little things a dozen times a day can really interfere with being able put the concentration that produces good, timely results. Of course, I also didn't mind mindless stuff. If they're going to pay me to sweep the floors, okay.
The layoff was resulting from a financial pinch the company is feeling at the moment. By taking out me and one other guy, they've effectively cut their workforce by about 14%. It was an engineering services company. The kind of place that other companies would contract for electronic design work in lieu of building an in-house design team. This meant that we tended to get busy in times of economic uncertainty or labor shortage. Alternately, it also means they get slow in times when the economy is really bad or really good. And right now, the economy is really good and the labor market is only just starting to dry up around here.
We also didn't really specialize in a particular target industry or phase of development. I've written small scale firmware, written PC applications, I've laid out PC boards, put together costed bills of materials, written illustrated build and test procedures, failure analysis, and even filled in on some mechanical design work. I've worked on large industrial equipment, commercial equipment, consumer electronics, medical equipment (both clinical and research), design validation equipment, functional test equipment, and can even hold my own operating/maintining a makerbot(tm) 3D printer.